New Florida-based salon supply firm has strong Rapid City ties
Rapid City Journal – Jim Holland Journal staff, Feb 5, 2017
Kelly Huether knew he wanted to open his own business since his sophomore year at Rapid City Stevens High School when he took a clerical record-keeping class.
He accomplished that goal more than three years ago, starting his first Life of Riley Salon Supply store in Largo, Fla., and subsequently adding sub-distributorships for wholesale beauty salon supplies in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.
His first foray away from the southeastern U.S. was at a homecoming when he joined nine family members, high school classmates and friends to open Life of Riley Salon Supply in Rapid City.
Their first day of business started with a rush, with salon operators lining up for a giveaway of sample products and a Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony, all before noon.
Keune Stands Behind Professional Licensing
By Keune | December 1st, 2017
A growing number of governors, state legislators and libertarian groups want to deregulate the professional beauty industry. In fact, in about 50% of the states across the country, legislators are proposing reducing the number of hours or eliminating professional licensing entirely from professions ranging from cosmetology and barbering to EMTs to private detectives. Cosmetology programs currently range from 1,000 hours in New York and Massachusetts to 1,500 hours in Ohio to 2,300 hours in Oregon. Hours vary for states that have separate barbering, nails and esthetics programs.
While other companies are focused on their stock price, Keune Haircosmetics North America is one of the only product companies supporting beauty professionals in their initiatives to protect professional licensing by attending meetings, creating awareness and urging beauty professionals to join in the fight. Jamezell Ottinger, Keune’s director of special markets, has been front and center in the fight to preserve our professionalism.
“CEO George Keune and President Andrew Biazis have emphasized that Keune is committed to protecting professional licensing for cosmetology, barbering and related specialties,” explains Ottinger. “As a result, I have been attending the congressional committee meetings and voicing our stance that licensed professionals protect the health and safety of the consumer.”
One example is Florida, where House Bill 15 and Senate Bill 526 propose cutting hours for licensure in half for barbering, nails and esthetics programs. (Cosmetology is not being discussed this session.) More than 100,000 individuals work in salons in Florida. Not only has Ottinger flown to Florida to support schools and salons during strategy sessions and meetings with legislators, he’s encouraged Keune’s distributor, Life of Riley Salon Supply, to help.
“I have personally met with State Senator Brandes, who is the author of the Senate Bill with a local salon owner, Mike Peters, from Salon West,” says Kelly Huether, CEO of Life of Riley Salon Supply. “We had nearly an hour alone with the Senator and were able to give our personal perspectives on how this legislation can cost Florida jobs and be a public safety risk. We believe we made progress and the Senator promised to come visit our businesses in December to get a better perspective on our concerns.”
Here are a few of the talking points being presented to Florida legislators in support of maintaining licensing standards:
Barbers work with razors, blades and harsh chemicals
Full Specialists/Nail Techs work to avoid fungus and infectious diseases.
Makeup Artists must be acutely cognizant of skin contraindications.
Skin Care specialists are often the first line of defense in identifying melanoma and other life-threatening diseases and often deal with chemicals that can peel off layers of the skin.
Students are trained to understand the risk of blood-borne pathogens, as well as proper sanitation and sterilization procedures.
Going forward, Keune will continue to share updates. Here’s what you can do in your state:
Be informed. Search and track the progress of legislation in your state at www.billtrack50.com
Share the information with other beauty professionals and your clients, and ask for their support.
Show up to meet with your state and federal legislators and their staff in their offices. Invite them into your business. Write letters to educate them about the important issues impacting the future of our industry.
If you are in Florida and would like to help protect professional licensing, please contact Mez Varol at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Life of Riley… success is all in the family
Beauty Industry Report, May 2016
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